THE destination of the Milo Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Division One title could well be decided this weekend, when the two teams who are favourites for the title, Thunderbolts and UniKL Young Guns, meet on Saturday.
But before the two teams can cross swords against each other, they need to negotiate their way past tricky oppositions on Friday.
Thunderbolts, who are the defending champions, will make a stopover in Malacca to take on Malacca High School, while UniKL play SSTMI Juniors on the same day at the KLHA Hockey Stadium.
On paper, both the teams should chalk up full points in those matches, thus leaving the Saturday match as a winner-take-all encounter.
But UniKL are wary of the challenges posed by SSTMI Juniors.
“We cannot take the points for granted and need to work hard for them as well,” said UniKL coach Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi.
“We have barely 24 hours before the crucial match against Thunderbolts and hence need to play intelligently and not waste much energy.
“Ideally we should finish the match off early but really it’s easier said than done as their Juniors are a decent side and are playing well as well.
“I’m sure they will also use some tactics the senior side intend to use against us and see the effectiveness.”
UniKL need to get their act together, especially in the penalty corner department, which has been woeful in the last three matches they have played.
And from the support perspective, UniKL seem to have lost their 12th man – UniKL Ultras, a fan group that chants from the first whistle till the end.
If UniKL play to their true form, then the title will be theirs to claim. But presently that is a distant dream as they lack the ingredients of a champ.